Jun 20, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2020-21 [Archived Catalog]

Acting - MFA

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Master of Fine Arts in Acting

Acting – MF5132

School of Theater
307 Kantner Hall
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Term of Entry: Fall

Program Overview

Graduating M.F.A. actors from the Professional Acting Training Program (PATP) are well-rounded, skillful and creative actor/artists with a heightened skill set and a distinct, specific and personal approach to the craft of acting. To achieve that end, the performance area faculty delivers acting, movement, and voice and speech classes in a sequential progression. This progression is built on the belief that any artist or craftsperson must begin with a foundation that is consistent, clear, coherent and cohesive. This foundation work ensures that every student has a strong knowledge of self, a developing system of values and ideals regarding process, practice and performance, and an awareness of their weaknesses and strengths.

First Year: Foundation: The first year acting studio puts rigorous emphasis on the authentic use of self, the reality of doing, the awakening of the emotional life, and the collaborative process. Movement work correspondingly focuses on foundation, and develops strength, alignment, body/mind connection and physical expressivity. The first year of voice and speech is an in depth exploration of Fitzmaurice voice work, and Knight-Thompson speech work.

Second Year: Application: Training focuses on creating complex characters through the application of the foundation work to scenes, exercises, personal exploration and performance. Heightened language/style texts and Michael Chekhov Technique are introduced. The movement studio explores the psychophysical connection and the embodiment of text. In stage combat, students take Skills Proficiency Tests with a Certified Teacher in the Society of American Fight Directors.  

Third Year: Special Studies and Thesis: The third year deepens and broadens with specialized areas of acting, movement and voice. Advanced style scene work and acting for the camera constitute the acting component. Students work with a wide range of industry professionals and hone their audition technique and business acumen in classroom and professional settings. The creation of ensemble devised work and as well as solo work is central to the movement curriculum. Specialized areas of speech are introduced, including (but not limited to) continued work with heightened language and texts, dialects and voice over techniques.  

Interconnection with the Professional Playwriting Program and the School of Film ensures ample experience in the development of new work in both mediums.

Program Learning Outcomes

Successful Theater M.F.A. students at Ohio University will:

  • Demonstrate advanced performance skills in professional and industry environments.
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills and a commitment to collaborative practice.
  • Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of research and application practices, dramatic literature, theory, and history.
  • Apply advanced skills and demonstrate a comprehension of methodologies as they relate to professional practice in performance, including acting, movement, voice and speech, and solo and collaborative devising.

Further Information

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/fine-arts/theater/mfa-professional-acting  

Admission Requirements

  • Admission to the PATP is by interview and audition, conducted at the UniversityResident Theatre Association (URTA) National Unified Auditions in New York and Chicago, as well as on the OU campus in Athens. The URTA auditions are typically held in late January and early February, and on campus auditions begin as early as September of the previous year and often extend into April. Ten students are admitted once every three years, with a studio cycle beginning in the fall of 2021.
  • Videotaped auditions and Skype interviews will be accepted for international students. 
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Head shot and acting resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Undergraduate transcripts

International Students

This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements

Complete a minimum of 90 credit hours as follows:

Theater and Performance Studies

Complete a minimum of 9 hours from among the following courses:

Acting Training

Complete the following courses for a total of 48 hours:

Acting Practicum

Complete a minimum of 9 hours of acting practicum with a minimum of 1 hour each semester of study.


Complete a minimum of 10 credit hours of internship.

Thesis Hours

Complete a minimum of 6 hours of thesis preparation courses, including at least 3 hours in each of the following:

Culminating Experience

Candidates must complete a performance thesis, including research, rehearsal, and performance in two School of Theater productions. Successful oral defense of the processes is required.

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